605-348-6086 | 529 Kansas City St. Suite 100, Rapid City, SD 57701 css@cssrapidcity.com

Disaster Relief Services

Catholic Social Services of Rapid City has long tradition of being involved in disaster response in western South Dakota. The late Msgr. William O’Connell led the community in response to the 1972 flood which claimed 238 lives. Msgr. O’Connell’s efforts were foundational and eventually helped to shape a national movement known as National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). CSS services an area covering 22 counties and 43,000 square miles of geography that often experiences the extremes of blizzards, drought, tornadoes, hailstorms, flash floods, wildfires and other disasters.

The disaster team at CSS is committed to responding to the disaster-related needs of families, communities and parishes in western South Dakota. We are currently working with the Long-term Recovery Groups in Burke and Custer; see related photos below. We are also helping to organize community organizations that will have the ability to respond to a disaster in their area. Maynard Konechne, who is the statewide Disaster Chairman for the Knights of Columbus, is working diligently to enlist volunteers to assist in this endeavor. Also, Catholic Charities USA is assisting CSS with funding to implement the community management structure that will take the lead in the disaster recovery efforts.

Dominique Charlson


  • Volunteer to serve on the Long-Term Recovery Group in your community.
  • Volunteer to be a case worker to assess needs after a disaster.

Please contact us for more information.


For those impacted by a disaster, Catholic Social Services can provide licensed, professional counselors to meet in our main office in Rapid City, at satellite offices in western South Dakota and via telehealth.


To donate to a specific disaster, community or area, please indicate your preference on your check and mail to: Catholic Social Services, 529 Kansas City St, Rapid City, SD  57701. All disaster donations will be held in escrow for general disaster relief, unless otherwise specified.